You can have too much of a good thing for your skin care, as it turns out. Exfoliation is a terrific (and sometimes required) way to shed dead skin cells and reveal the new, bright skin beneath the surface, but the increasing popularity of cell-scrubbing cleansers, toners, grains, and serums means that many beauty aficionados are exfoliating a little too much and too often.
But here's where it gets complicated: Exfoliation is used to address a variety of problems, including dry, peeling skin and breakouts, but it can also be a sign of over-exfoliation. So, how do you know whether you should buff away the buildup or take a break?
Here's a complete guide on how to exfoliate your face, including how to restore your skin's health when you've gone too far.
Over-exfoliation warning signs
One of the most common mistakes we see individuals make is over-exfoliating. Skin should only be exfoliated one to two times each week to assist speed up cell turnover without causing damage and skin irritation . Yes, once or twice per week. If you've been using exfoliating acids on a daily basis, your skin is probably yearning for a rest.
Fortunately, you should be able to detect if you're using too many exfoliators. The following are examples of classic signs:
- skin that is irritated, red, and otherwise inflamed.
- Your skin may become dry and flaky in the long run. It's possible that you'll develop a skin rash-like texture, resulting in an uneven tone (like patchy, red blotches). Another typical reaction is breakouts, particularly small, hard, bumpy pimples.
- Irritation, burning, or peeling are signs of over-exfoliation, as are redness and inflammatory breakouts, particularly tiny pimples.
- greater sensitivity to other products you use on a regular basis
One symptom of misuse that's more difficult to spot is a tight, waxy texture that can be mistaken for a healthy glow. In actuality, it's far from that.
It can appear waxy as a result of wiping away skin cells and natural oils, exposing the underlying skin prematurely. The skin looks to have a lustrous sheen about it. It is, nevertheless, quite arid and exposed.
Excessive sun exposure can lead to painful cracking and peeling. A healthy glow will always appear plump and hydrated, rather than dry, thin, or waxy which causes skin irritation.
You may also notice an increase in sensitivity to subsequent products in a daily routine. To put it another way, the rest of your skin care routine might induce redness, blistering, or peeling.
But don't blame it on the rest of your line! It's (mostly) the fault of the exfoliator.
Some of these sensations, as we discussed earlier, make you feel as though you need to exfoliate more, but resist. Instead, here's what you should do.
What to Do If You've Exfoliated Too Much
If you see any of the aforementioned symptoms after exfoliating, whether from an aggressive face-scrubbing session or an acid application, the first thing you should do is cease exfoliating until your skin has healed and returned to its normal texture.
The term "baseline texture" varies from person to person; in general, it refers to the texture of your skin prior to overexposure. That will be your baseline texture if you've always had acne. All you have to do now is wait for the signs of over-exfoliation to diminish – redness, irritation, and peeling.
Recovering from over-exfoliation
All foaming cleansers, retinol products, and manual or chemical exfoliants should be avoided.
Switch to a fragrance-free cleanser and moisturiser. Apply a heavy emollient, such as Aquaphor or Aqua Veil, on areas that are severely red or raw. A hydrocortisone cream or aloe gel can also be used. Your skin could take up to a month to get back on track — that is, the length of a skin cell cycle.
There are a few things you may do right now to assist soothe your irritation
A cold compress can be administered immediately after an over-exfoliating incident to relieve burning. A hydrocortisone cream may also assist with redness and irritation..
Aloe gel is also known to have healing powers, although depending on how exposed and raw the regions are, it might be unpleasant; in this instance, applying the genuine aloe plant can assist.
It's possible that the remainder of your skin-care routine will need to be adjusted as well. Foaming cleansers (which can be irritating and worsen existing problems), retinol treatments (which are too harsh for use on sensitive skin), and, of course, any physical or chemical exfoliators should all be avoided. The idea is to keep things as basic as possible.
When will you be able to exfoliate again?
Just because you've had some exfoliation discomfort doesn't imply you have to avoid it indefinitely.
Dermatologists believe that once your skin has healed, you can cautiously and strategically return your beloved grains or acids.
Once your skin has healed, begin exfoliating once a week.
Work your way up from there if you don't have any problems. Stick to either a physical or a chemical exfoliant, though. It's not a good idea to combine the two on the same day.
Do you need to brush up on your knowledge? Physical exfoliants, such as milled rice and corn powders, use water and light surfactants to slough off the top layer of the skin. Consider cleanses, grains, and even softer gommage treatments like "eraser peels."
Chemical exfoliants include alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids, which react with the outer skin surface to separate the outermost cell layers (BHAs).
The most popular AHAs are lactic acid and glycolic acid. BHA salicylic acid is a popular choice.
Are you undecided on which category to try? The acid variety appeals to derms.
People are frequently advised to experiment with both AHAs and BHAs to see what works best for them and then adhere to that programme. However, because many of these exfoliators have similar effects, mixing them can lead to over-exfoliation.
Experiment with a light lactic acid (AHA) exfoliator for one week, then switch to a salicylic acid (BHA) product the following week to see how your skin reacts. Then decide which one to pursue. Lactic or glycolic acids are good for sensitive and dry skin, while salicylic acid is good for oily or acne-prone skin.
If both AHAs and BHAs are desired (which can be done safely), it is better to alternate days or perhaps take a day off altogether to avoid any over-exfoliating issues. If you feel any redness, peeling, or tingling, it's time to reduce your intake.
Exfoliation, like everything else in skin care — or in life, for that matter — is best done in moderation. After all, your skin already handles a lot of the heavy lifting. All you have to do now and then is give it a (soft) nudge. A refresher on the importance of exfoliation in your daily routine
Your skin exfoliates itself, which is a little-known truth. Desquamation is the term for the natural process. From start to finish, it normally takes 28 days.
New skin cells form, mature, and shed throughout this time. This means that some people may not need to exfoliate at all if they follow the appropriate routine and maintain their skin.
But, of course, it's not that simple, particularly in a city. The skin cell turnover process can be slowed by a variety of factors, including a reduced skin barrier, unbalanced oil production, and pollution particles.
Exfoliating products are commonly used to assist in this process. Exfoliation leaves the epidermis feeling fresh, healthy, and completely 'cleansed.'